News & Analysis

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    By speaking for just herself, Rachel Sklar speaks for all women

    I guess it had to happen eventually. Rachel Sklar and I have not always seen eye-to-eye on how to talk about the challenges facing women in tech, and beyond. Today, however, Sklar wrote something about women that I completely agree with. Like nodding-at-every-word agree with. In an honest, thoughtful essay, posted today on Medium, Sklar shared with the world the news that she is single, 41, and pregnant. And — although Sklar doesn’t say it quite this aggressively– she essentially adds that if people,…
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  3. Bitcoin Bill

    SEC chairman turned bitcoin board member Arthur Levitt talks volatility, regulation, and currency instability

    There’s a revolving door between industry and the regulatory halls of Washington DC. It’s not uncommon to see high profile regulators “retire” from public service to land cushy jobs in the financial industry, pharma, defense, and other sectors where their “experience” and “connections” can pay major dividends. This much isn’t news. But former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Arthur Levitt has taken a less traveled route, opting to join the boards of several early-stage startups. In addition to his…
  4. Overheard

    Petition to boycott Birchbox calls for cruelty-free beauty products

    “Please sign this petition to get the message to Birchbox that their business will suffer unless they stop using animal-tested makeup products. Help them understand that every time they sell an Estee Lauder/Shiseido/Unilever product, they are contributing to an animal’s pain, suffering, and even death. Only cruelty-free can be beautiful.” –The Petition Site
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    Freaked out by artificial intelligence? Don’t watch the trailer to “Ex Machina”

    One of the good things about living in a scarily disruptive era of unprecedented surveillance and technology is that it makes for great fodder for artists. From “Her” to “Black Mirror,” the past couple years have brought some terrifying and terrifically entertaining science fiction stories that speak volumes about today’s world. After all, with technological advancement moving faster than ever, the future worlds imagined by these films have never been closer to reality. While my anxieties tend more toward…
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    The MPAA bans Google Glass, but I’d rather share a theater with Glassholes than assholes

    The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theater Owners have updated their policies to force theater-goers to turn off and put away “wearables” at show time. This means products like Google Glass, which have already been banned from some theaters on an individual basis, are no longer allowed to be worn in any theater in the country. It seems like the ban would be easy to support. Glass makes people uncomfortable, as shown by
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    The tech industry is turning health trackers into commodities before they even go mainstream

    We’ve reached Peak Health. In the last few days, Google has released a fitness application that uses smartphone sensors to measure physical activity; Microsoft has announced its own health platform and fitness tracker; even Nintendo has revealed a device that “reads a user’s movement, heart rate, respiration and fatigue, and sends that data to servers to be analyzed,” as Polygon reported Wednesday night. That’s not counting Apple’s HealthKit platform, Facebook’s interest in adding health-related tools to its products, and…
  9. Overheard

    “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

    — Apple CEO Tim Cook in a letter published by Businessweek

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    Xiaomi becomes world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer

    Xiaomi has become the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer without leaving China, Bloomberg reports. The company supplants LG, which sells its devices in far more countries; one has to wonder how large Xiaomi would become if it sold its products in even half as many countries as other smartphone manufacturers. [Source: Bloomberg]
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    Lenovo completes Motorola Mobility acquisition

    Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the smartphone-making division of Motorola that was first acquired by Google in 2012, has finally closed. Google spent $12.5 billion to acquire the division and all the patents that came with it; Lenovo has spent just $2.91 billion on the division only a few years later. [Source: The Verge]
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    Listen again to this week’s episode of PandoLIVE

    Not to be confused with St Louis, Missouri restaurant, PanD’Olive, PandoLIVE is our weekly call-in show, hosted by Sarah Lacy and me. In this week’s episode, embedded to listen again below, we go back to the 90s to talk about Monica Lewinsky and Jerry Yang. We also talk about sexy ebola which, frankly, is the main reason to listen. So, here’s the show…
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    What’s In A Name: PandoLIVE is not to be confused with Pan D’Olive

    For the past month or so, Pando’s “What’s In A Name?” series has been examining the importance of choosing the right name for your startup or product. You might think, then, that we’d have taken some of our own advice. For example, before deciding to name our new call-in show PandoLIVE you might think we’d check that there wasn’t already something using that same name. Certainly we wouldn’t plan an entire radio show, find a sponsor and create all kinds of visual…
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    The music industry is flatlining, but music apps are bigger than ever

    Between 1999 and 2009, US music industry revenues were cut in half, thanks to the demise of overpriced CDs, the advent of cheap, song-by-song downloads, and piracy. Since that time, the bleeding has stopped, but the industry has yet to bounce back to its heady late-90s heights. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t legally listening to music. According to a new report from App Annie, music listening apps like Pandora and Spotify make up more than 70 percent of the top…
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  18. Joker Card

    Uber PR’s latest trick: Impersonating its drivers and trying to scam journalists

    Uber will stop at nothing to win. Even, apparently, manipulating the press. With a valuation approaching $20 billion and more than $1.5 billion of VC to deliver a return on, Uber’s got a lot to prove. And there’s no shortage of obstacles, coming in the form of well-funded startup competitors nipping at its heels, global regulators and taxi and limousine commissions looking to shut it down at every turn, and the nasty habit of its driver “partners” spending as nearly much…
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    Startups Anonymous: An important message to founders about humility

    [This is a weekly series that brings you raw, first-hand experiences from founders and investors in the trenches. Their story submissions are anonymous, allowing them to share openly without fear of retribution. Every Wednesday, we'll run one new story chosen by Dana Severson, who operates StartupsAnonymous, a place for startups to share, ask questions, and  answer them in story-length posts, all anonymously. You can share your own story here.] We are all a bunch of…
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    WalMart’s Apple Pay competitor has reportedly been hacked

    MCX’s CurrentC, which is many major retailers’ answer to Apple Pay, has reportedly already been hacked. The damage doesn’t seem to be too severe — basically the “unauthorized third parties” got a hold of some email addresses. But it’s certainly embarrassing for the retailers who made a big show of rejecting Apple Pay in favor of their own solutions. [Source: Business Insider]
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The Week in Review